First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right | Darynda Jones | Macmillan

Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Grim reapers, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Dates read: 23rd – 25th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: St. Martins Paperbacks
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: After a meaningful stare-down, I pointed to the exit.

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With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flowchart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?


I had a challenge that said I had to read a book by Darynda Jones. I knew nothing more of the woman, but I was intrigued. And now, admittedly. I’m kind of a little obsessed. This was an amazingly fun book to read and I’m seriously disappointed that I now have to wait for the post to catch up and the next book to arrive at my doorstep… so very, very disappointed.

I’ve got a few stories on my shelves that feature women / witches who can see ghosts. I may even have one (that I haven’t really read yet) that features the woman as the grim reaper. But none like this. The grim reaper in this is sassy, unique and completely unique. She’s also a little unhinged. Which is probably why I loved her so much. After all, I’m slightly unhinged, and I don’t converse with ghosts on a regular basis.

Although I love the ghosts in this story, the grim reaper aspect to it, what I really love is that Charley is constantly trying to help. That no matter what is going on, she’s fighting to help others and make a better life for anyone who needs it. The fact that she does this in a myriad of ways that generally end up with her being beaten and bruised (sometimes because of others, often because she’s just not all that lucky) worked really well for me. Every time I get in the shower I tend to have a fresh bruise, so it was nice to read about someone who is WAY more accident prone than I am.

The intricate webs of this storyline made me incredibly happy. Mostly because instead of one main storyline, there were several. All of which drew me in and had me wondering in a somewhat perplexed manner just what was going to happen next. Normally I would have the potential of guessing the answer… but with so much going on, I found it almost impossible to figure out. Which is, honestly, something that I thoroughly enjoy. Now I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next novel!

<- More Darynda JonesFor I Have Sinned ->

Image source: Macmillan Publishers

10 thoughts on “First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

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